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Best Places for Washington, DC Souvenirs

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There are so many great places to find just the right souvenir to bring home from your visit to Washington D.C.

Here are a few places to check out when you’re looking to shop.


1. General Gift Shops:

Abe’s Gifts D.C., Washington Welcome Center, and White House Gifts are the three best options for general D.C. souvenirs.

All three are conveniently located downtown, near major tourist sites.

Be it magnets, T-shirts, or miniature Washington Monuments, you’ll likely find them here.


2. Smithsonian Gift Shops:

All of the Smithsonian museums have gift shops tailored to the specifics of the museum.

Some even have multiple locations within the museum that might include more specific items.

Be aware that gift shops are a major source of revenue for the museums, and sometimes prices may be a touch higher.

Washington DC Walking Tours

3. Other Museum Gift Shops:

Expect to find a gift shop at most museums and historic sites you might visit, though the size and selection may vary.

One of the more unique gift shops is the one in the International Spy Museum, which carries a wide variety of books, toys, games, educational kits, and (fun) spy gear.

Mount Vernon is another spectacular gift shop.

There is something for everyone from fine jewelry and Christmas ornaments to tri corner hats for the kids. Find out more about visiting Mount Vernon.

Another local favorite is the National Building Museum, which carries unique works of art, jewelry and more.


4. Eastern Market:

On Saturdays, vendors assemble on the streets of Eastern Market, selling many different types of locally made and themed items.

This is a great option if you’re looking to support local makers or trying to find something especially unique to bring home from D.C..

We love Eastern Market and offer a private foodie themed tour of the neighborhood.


5. Shop Made in D.C.:

There are multiple locations of this locally owned and operated retail store throughout the city.

What makes Shop Made in D.C. unique is that everything for sale is made by a local artisan, and the selection changes frequently.


Honorable mention:

Each year, D.C. hosts a myriad of holiday markets across the city. It is one of our favorite things to do in Christmas in DC.

The biggest and most popular is on F Street, right in front of the National Portrait Gallery.

You never know what you’ll find, but you can be sure it’ll be something special.

About The Author

Canden Arciniega

Canden is a historian and tour guide in Washington DC with 4 published books about the city. She has written for HuffPost Travel and has been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. She's also been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. Canden is the producer of our podcast, Tour Guide Tell All With a M.A. in History from University College London and a B.A. in History from Elon University, she is an authority on D.C. history, and has led tours in the city for over 10 years. She currently resides in DC, but has also lived in London and South Korea, and has travelled to 28 countries. Her two children (both under the age of 4) have their passports and own frequent flier accounts.
Updated: June 28th, 2022
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